'A Defining Moment.' An Indian State's Decision to Challenge the Country's Controversial Citizenship Law Signals a Growing Divide - By Sanya Mansoor  - IAMC
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‘A Defining Moment.’ An Indian State’s Decision to Challenge the Country’s Controversial Citizenship Law Signals a Growing Divide – By Sanya Mansoor 

The state’s lawsuit argues that the Citizenship Amendment Act, which offers a fast track to Indian citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from three neighboring countries, is “discriminatory” and runs counter to the Indian constitution’s secular principles. Here’s what to know.… Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests have rocked the country for weeks, with tens of thousands of Indians taking to the streets. At historically Muslim universities, and in the state of Uttar Pradesh, protesters have faced a violent crackdown. At least 23 people have died since the protests began.

There are also fears around a BJP plan to make a list of all of India’s legal citizens through a National Register of Citizens (NRC) that requires Indians to provide documentary evidence of being in India for decades. A trial run of the exercise already took place in Assam last year and put nearly 2 million people at risk of losing their citizenship. Many residents in Assam, due to displacement and poverty were unable to provide the documents required by the NRC to prove their citizenship dating back 50 years.

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah has repeatedly said he wants to roll out the NRC nationwide, although exact details about how and when the government would do so remain unclear. Critics have expressed concern that the Citizenship Amendment Act would provide an avenue for non-Muslims who cannot prove their citizenship to qualify for the NRC and remain in India, while leaving Muslims at risk.…